Top Line: Did Markov incite handshake line incident?; Rangers villain; more
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Don Cherry knew something had to provoke Milan Lucic before his infamous handshake line moment. So he carefully studied the video and discovered what Montreal's Andrei Markov did.
• Chris Kreider is relishing his role as the villain of the Eastern Conference Final. Hey, if Montreal's fans are getting that worked up, he must be doing something right.
• The Canadiens dominated Game 2 by every measure but the score, thanks to the outstanding play of Henrik Lundqvist. And now the Rangers are halfway to a berth in the Stanley Cup Final.
• Montreal followed its plan, controlled the game and still lost. Now what?
• Young Habs backup goalie Dustin Tokarski was good in Game 2, but not quite good enough to beat the Rangers.
• He didn't get the result he wanted, but Montreal coach Michel Therrien had nothing to lose by taking a chance on Tokarski.
• Anze Kopitar knows what the Kings have to do differently if they want to get back on even terms with the Blackhawks on Wednesday night.
• L.A. may need to look hard for secondary scoring. Chicago has kept opposing top lines in check through the first two rounds and did a great job of shutting down Kopitar's line in Game 1.
• Ron Cook can't figure out why the Penguins would want Mike Babcock as their next coach. Apparently being widely regarded as the best bench boss in the league isn't a persuasive enough argument.
• We couldn't imagine why Pat Brisson would give up the SoCal life of negotiating gimme contracts for the league's top stars to take on the GM gig in Pittsburgh. Apparently, neither could he. Brisson told the Pens he wasn't interested in their job yesterday.
• Jim Matheson explains why the Florida Panthers have put the first-overall pick up for grabs ahead of this year's draft.
• In this piece, Matty wonders if Dan Boyle might be a good depth fit for the Boston Bruins and if the Hawks might be headed for another 2010-style salary purge after this season concludes.
• Not quite ready to say goodbye to Teemu Selanne just yet? Neither are we. Here's a video capturing the top-10 moments in the career of the Finnish Flash.
• Borna Rendulic made history yesterday by becoming the first Croatian player signed to an NHL contract. The 22-year-old led his Finnish club in scoring last season.
• Team Canada overcame a scare--and a bizarre disallowed goal--to knock off Norway and clinch first place in their pool at the World Championship. Now the crossover fun begins.